Helen Meager vs the State of Creation: part 4

Darrow nodded and approached the Lord’s throne to ask his questions.  “Sir, I’d like to get a better sense of some of the mechanics of our universe, if that’s all right with you? “

God nodded his assent.

“Good, good.  Tell me.  What is the statute of limitations for teen masturbation?”

“YOUR HONOR!”  Bryant was on his feet and as red-faced as a baboon’s posterior.

God, motioned him to sit down.  “There is no specific punishment for that other than the fact that I knock off 4 rods and four cones in your retina each time.”

Bryant’s eyes widened.  “Really Lord?”

“No, you idiot.  Sit down and shut up!  Does it never occur to anyone that I could care less about the sexual practices of a primitive species in a random spiral arm of a a fairly common place galaxy?  It’s difficult to imagine something I care less about.”

Darrow smiled, pointed toward Bryant and followed up with, “God, do you know of any correlation between a lack of a sense of humor and piety?  We already know there can be no appreciation for irony.”

“Mr Darrow...”  The floor rumbled every time the Turtle spoke.

Sorry Your Honor. 

"Mr Darrow, do you really want to squander this opportunity with sophomoric antics?"

"Not really, Sir, To be honest, I was convinced that this would be nothing more than a farce from the start."

"Like your life, it will be what you make of it.  Ask the right questions and this might all be worth the effort."

"Fair enough. Fair enough.  Let me ask you something a bit more general - is the accumulation of knowledge by man, who some allege you created, a good thing?  or a bad thing?”

“Objection, Your honor!  Council for the plaintiff is attempting to discredit the well known fact of our divine creation.”

“Am I?  He turned toward the witness.   “Am I God?”

“You know the answer to that one Mr Darrow.  You skillfully defended it once.  Lost the case as I recall.  The human preference for flowery descriptions of perception over empiricism.  I shouldn’t fault you for it, after all it’s a common failing amongst species at your point of development.  But you do know the answer.”

“I do indeed, but your lap dog over there needs to hear it.”

“You are not wrong.”

“Why’s that exactly?”

“You are a product of nature.  A spectacular example of the combined power of random and highly nonrandom forces to generate complex creatures.  Oh sit down and stop talking Byrant.  Open your mind instead of your trap for once.  You are a natural byproduct of the forces that govern this universe.”
God spoke with a twinkle in his avatar’s eye and generated a fair amount of nervous laughter when he said, “I’m actually more of a deist than a theist.”  

The Turtle actually smiled.

He continued, “As a creator of a universe do you think that I have the time or the inclination to micromanage all of this real-estate?"  

“I don’t personally, but look how well that worked out for me.” (The gallery chortled.)

God actually smiled. “I set the ground state conditions in motion, yes.  But the final product, is a work in progress.  Full of strangeness and wonder.”

"So did you create this universe?"

“Objection, relevance!” thundered one of Byrant’s young assistant.”

"OVERRULED!" bellowed God as the young prosecutor disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

The Turtle was displeased. “You are not the Judge here.  The Witness will refrain from smiting for the duration of this case!”

"Sorry Your Honor, it probably won’t happen again." He eyed Darrow with a barest hint of a wry smirk.

"Did I create the universe?  This one?  Yes.  Others, no. Others just are."

"And as creator you feel no compunction to explain your reasons for anything?" 

"You were a father, yes?  As a father did you ever say, “Because I said so!”

"Yes.  Yes I did.  But about the worst I could mete out was bed without supper or to ground them for a week.  It may have seemed like hell to them at the time, but we all know better. " (more natural laughter from the gallery)

“Alright, let’s get back on track, shall we?  The answer to your original question is neither.”

“Neither?  Neither good nor bad that humans gain knowledge?”

"Like me, it simply is.”

"It doesn’t matter at all?" 

“Depends on how you frame that question.  To the universe? No, of course not.  To me?  Not in the slightest.  The existence of your species is likely to just be a blip on the cosmic timeline that likely will end up being of no consequence.  But to you and yours, it means everything.”

"Very important like when it got us cast out of Eden, right?

"Hardly.  Really Mr Darrow, I had hoped for more from you."

"Well, you aren’t exactly what I expected either.  Forgive the question, but  I have to ask; am I actually talking to God?"

"No."  ( a collective gasp from the gallery)


"No. And yes"

"With whom am I speaking?"

"You are talking to an avatar of God, which is as much as a largely three dimension creature such as yourself could ever hope for.  The whole of me exists in greater dimensions which would make no sense to you."

"We couldn’t comprehend the whole package in other words."


"But we have God’s attention."

"No.  Not so much.  I represent the amount of interest that God has in this little backwater exercise in evolution. Other avatars serve other functions in other locations and times."

"So we aren’t your, his, its favorites.  We have no special place in creation?"

"Hardly.  You are an interesting species, but not yet one worthy of too much investment." 

You don’t pay special attention to our needs and wants?

"It may serve as fodder for philosophy and theological aplogetics but the layers of separation from a being of which I am a minute fragment, one which creates a universe, and you precludes any notion of a personal relationship.  The gap between deism and theism is insurmountable no matter the skill applied to intellectual slight of hand.   If one opens his or her eyes at least."

"So you don’t care about details like homosexuality, for example.  You don’t condemn them?

"We don’t look at a species in that much detail.  Our interest are limited to populations not individuals.   But while we are on the subject, do you condemn a rock for being a rock?"

“Why no...”

"It is what it is, correct?  Unless someone hurls it at your head, its existence does you no harm right?"


"You wouldn't go out of your way to hate a rock.  That’s the end of that debate. "

"Have you always been?"

"No, I evolved and combined as well, but over times and universes beyond your imaginings. "

"How much time, can you not give us a hint."

" It's a useless question.  Time is a relative phenomenon to a particular part of what some of you know suspect is the multiverse.  It’s meaningless without a proper frame of reference."

 "Again I have to ask you, Mr Darrow, are these trivial diversions that you came here to ask me about?"

"Sorry, I have to admit that this isn’t quite going as I’d imagined it would. "

"Ok, let me help you get to the core concerns.  You saw a bit of heaven on your way here, no?" 

"Yes, sir, I did."

"Did anything strike you as odd?  Different from what you imagined?"

"A lot of it did, actually."


"It’s hard to articulate. It’s more of a feeling, really."

"Go on."

"It feels wrong somehow.  And not just because of the issues we brought to court." (gasps in the gallery silenced by a wave of a divine hand.)

"It should be more."

"More what?"

"I don’t know, more!  It just should be less like a storage depot and more of a journey.  There’s something stale about it.  Like an old grand hotel past its prime.  I can’t quite put my finger on it. "

Bryant rose to his feet and raised a hand like a school boy.

“No you may not ask Bryant.  Don’t interrupt again.”

"Why do you think that is Mr Darrow?  If I am of God, and I am, why is heaven somewhat of a disappointment to one such as yourself.  You’ve certainly had an opportunity to compare it to other accommodations. "  

“What’s missing?  Think Clarence.”

When Darrow remained mute in thought, God turned to the plaintiff in this case, “What’s missing Helen?”

She thought for a moment then said, “A spark.”

"YES! Yes Helen, now you’re on the right track.  Did you feel that spark in hell?"

"There were a lot of sparks as I recall."  (Even God laughed at that one)


"The spark.  The pursuit of knowing.  That’s what’s missing.  Everyone here assumes they know all that they ever need know.  You ask me if knowledge is a good thing?  For your kind to survive it’s the only thing that matters.  To know and learn more than you knew the day before.  Stasis is not the way an organism survives let alone thrives.  You should know that from your studies of other organisms.  But it's not just in living systems.  It's important to thinking as well.  Stasis in thought leads to stasis in action. Stasis in action leads to stagnation and extinction.  It’s a simple and inevitable formula."

"Sir, I’m confused.  Isn’t this all your doing, and what difference does it make what dead people believe anyway?"
"It doesn't except that people think here as they did in life."

"Let’s review the reason we are here today.  This case of yours, on behalf of Sister Helen over there.  At its core is a simple question that should have been asked long ago.  You couch it in legal terms and medical jargon about the nature of abusive relationships and think yourself clever.  The usual lawyer’s tricks.  You get caught up in trivial matters and ignore the heart of the question.  The real question is whether heaven and hell are fair.  Isn’t that what you came here to find out?"

"Yes, Yes it is."

“But you miss the point entirely.  If the laws of humankind are more just than the alleged laws of God, what does that say?  What does it tell you?”


pboyfloyd said...

I have trouble with 'god talking' stories, especially if HE says something 'profound', it makes my left eyelids flutter, for some strange reason.

No offense.

Pliny-the-in-Between said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pliny-the-in-Between said...

Not to worry Ian, so do I....

GearHedEd said...

"...If the laws of humankind are more just than the alleged laws of God, what does that say? What does it tell you?"

It tells me that the humans that wrote down 'God's Laws' were working from primitive conceptions of justice in a barbaric and dangerous environment. Right or wrong, we "modern" humans have eliminated many of those barbarisms and dangers through applied science and engineering, so we expect our laws to reflect the more tranquil circumstances of our "modern" lives.

...but I'm not a character in Pliny's epic.